Campaigners launched a petition in Ilkeston Market Place on Saturday to fight possible Derbsyhire care home closures .
Under the plans West Hallam’s Beechcroft Care Home and others in the county could be replaced with one and two-bedroom ‘extra care’ apartments.
The council has said the apartments would be affordable, with on-site care at all times.
But the families of residents at Beechcroft are worried the extra care apartments are more suitable for semi-independent elderly people and would not cater for those with more acute needs.
Helen Clark, Erewash Labour Group chairman, said: “We hoped for a positive response but the public reaction to our petition was phenomenal.
“I would have been pleased if 100 people had signed up to the campaign, but 501 signatures in two hours was awesome.
“We spoke to many people who had heard about Derbyshire County Council’s plans.
“Some worked in the care system, some were care home residents and all dreaded the future for themselves and family members if these plans go ahead.”
The petitions have been placed at the Observatory pub in the Market Place, All Things Nice Cafe, Bath Street, and Mirror Newsagents, Bath Street
Carol Hart, Conservative county councillor for West Hallam, told the Tiser last month no changes would take place until consultations had been held and residents’ needs would be assessed before any decisions were made about.
Erewash councillor Cheryl Pidgeon announced that there would be a public meeting at West Hallam Village Hall on March 27 at 7pm.
The member for Nottingham Road ward has invited Derbyshire County Council Leader Andrew Lewer and Erewash MP Jessica Lee to attend and hear residents’ concerns.